37th Argyll Scout Group, North Connel - 30th April 2018
Dean, Rhona and his faithful unofficial guide dog ‘Stumpy' visited the Cub pack of 37th Argyll Scout Group to talk about sight disability, in order to help the Cubs gain their Disability Awareness badge. Dean managed to keep 24 Cubs quiet for over 15 minutes with his spell binding story of how he became partially sighted and then blind, he showed some awe inspiring videos of his adventures and answered any questions the Cubs threw at him with aplomb. He finished his talk by encouraging the Cubs to ‘do their best’ in whatever life threw at them in the future.
We split the Cub pack in two, whilst Rhona took half the Cubs through some guided no sight and partial sight simulations, Dean led the other half in a game of goal ball where they wore blindfolds and had to concentrate and listen hard to be in with a chance of winning the game.
He engaged the Cubs with enthusiasm, was an informative and inspirational speaker and I would highly recommend Dean for any speaking event, whether that be with young children or adults.
Cub Leader, 37th Argyll Scout Group, North Connel
Dunbeg Primary School, Oban, Argyll - 30th April 2018
An inspirational visit today from Dean Dunbar, blind extreme athlete and adventurer, Rhona his wife and Stumpy the dog. Dean captivated us with his extraordinary achievements, philosophy and storytelling talents. His ability to connect with his audiences today: P1-P7, was extraordinary. Children later talked about the things that they had found interesting or puzzling about the sessions. These were: what Dean would do if he had his sight back for a day, why he would not want his sight back permanently, how he has a picture in his mind of the way that the world is- and prefers that, his amazing adventures, the dangers of simply walking along the street and the talent of Stumpy as a guiding dog. The younger children enjoyed the sim specs activity, loved the jingle ball and simply adored Stumpy (whose fur is VERY soft they explained). As a team Dean, Rhona and Stumpy were charming, sincere and absolutely inspiring. We were glad to be able to share your experiences.
Headteacher, Dunbeg Primary School
Red Paddle Co International Distributor Meeting - 26th June 2017
Dean had the audience’s attention from his first word until his last. You could hear a pin drop in the room. Dean’s talk was informative, inspiring and fun all at the same time. Seeing Dean’s world through his words made for a brilliant evening talk and certainly left everyone with plenty to think about the next time they went out on the water, or indeed just walked out of the door. We would have Dean back for another talk in a heartbeat.
Managing Director, Red Paddle Co - https://redpaddleco.com/uk/
Islay High School fundraising dinner - 22nd April 2017
We had invited Dean to give a presentation at our fundraising dinner in aid of the school’s expedition to Zambia and Botswana and he delivered everything we were looking for. Despite his developing blindness, Dean gave a very professional and inspirational presentation showing that not only had he found a way to cope with this disability but also to thrive on it. His exploits on a stand up paddle board, in the lakes of the UK and the length of Loch Awe were beyond that anyone had achieved previously let alone someone with a disability and it was clear that he intended to take on even more difficult challenges in the future. The message that he put across with eloquence and self-deprecating humour was all about resilience - that we should make the most of life whatever difficulties come our way. Truly inspirational! Many thanks Dean and wish you all the best in your future mad exploits!
Head Teacher, Islay High School, Islay, Scotland.
Duke of Edinburgh Award Leaders' Weekend - 25th February 2017
Dean kindly agreed to be the guest speaker at our Duke of Edinburgh Award leaders weekend. Deans energy and zest for life is infectious, his chat about the challenges he faces in both day to day life and his crazy adventures is inspirational and humbling. We want other people to hear his story especially the young people of Argyll and Bute. That is why we will be asking Dean back to speak to as many of them as possible, I’m certain his talk will be an encouragement to them when facing their own challenges in life.
Duke of Edinburgh Award Leader, Argyll & Bute
Fort William Mountain Festival - 15th February 2017
Dean gave his talk to our Fort William Mountain Festival launch night and it was a great pleasure to have him there. There are people who can make you realise that your adventures are much more within reach, within your own control, and Dean is one of them. The tales of Dean's adventures are heartwarming and fun, down to earth accounts of some incredible feats. With an exceptionally enjoyable presentation, Dean will leave you to think twice about the excuses we all make not to get out and do something.
FWMF committee member
Fort William Mountain Festival - http://www.mountainfestival.co.uk/
Strathallan School, near Perth - 26th September 2016
Dean Dunbar is an inspiration to my son and our family. My son is 14 years old and registered blind. Like Dean his vision started failing at just 9 years old. We met Dean and his wife this year through our mutual love of sport. Dean came to my son's school today to talk to his peer group about what it is like to be visually impaired and how my son's friends can support him round school. Dean was imaginative, thoughtful, humorous and insightful, in how he put ideas across to other 14 year old boys and girls. (of which there were about 70) He was also inspirational in that he demonstrated that just because you have a disability it doesn't have to stop you doing daring and adventurous things.
Thank you Dean and guide dog Stumpy for sharing your philosophy and enthusiasm for life.
Sports Coach & Tutor
Strathallan School - https://www.strathallan.co.uk/
Dean's talk was a breath of fresh air it was funny, inspiring, motivational and sensitive at the same time. The feedback from the audience was very positive, it made us all stop and think about the small challenges we have to face in comparison to Dean. We also enjoyed the short films Dean showed and we all left invigorated and inspired.
The Grampian Club - http://www.grampianclub.org.uk
"I thought your talk was a great balance of humour and information – and enough of your story to whet people’s appetite to hear more."
"The audience found your talk to be inspiring and motivating."
GrowBiz – Business and Enterprise Support - http://growbiz.co.uk/
We all thoroughly enjoyed your presentation, were motivated and moved by it.
Perth Triathlon Club - www.perthtriclub.com
Dean gave a talk last night at the Buxton Adventure Festival. He was excellent. Professional, animated, informative, and interesting. The audience loved the self-deprecatory humour, and feedback after the show was unanimously excellent.
Organiser of the Buxton Adventure Festival
Taken from a forwarded email
"I like the way he puts his enthusiasm across and easily gets the audience to feel close to him like we're all friends."
Official photographer at the Dundee Mountain Film Festival
Firstly, let me say it was an absolute privilege for Round Tablers to meet you and Rhona and to hear of your life story and your adventures along the way, to date. Your friendliness and warmth of personality light up the room.
You are clearly a leader of men, as you had each of us mesmerised and in awe at your story. Your command of language and skill of narration throughout your talk and VT displays was consummate with any professional talk I have ever heard.
As in life, you were straight out the blocks from the start and you energised and enthused members throughout your time with us.
Your personable, informal style masks a true professional at work in both content and in style.
You won many a friend last night, and much more inspired members to look at their own life's and their own achievements with many considering how they can adopt, adapt and improve through your testimony and example.
You are as nice as you are exceptional and Perth Strathearn Round Table wish you our friendship and every success in all your future adventures!
Perth Strathearn Round Table
Dean’s inspiring presentation to our audience at the Fort William Mountain Festival in February 2015 was one to remember. Fascinating … inspirational … funny … extreme! This insight into how Dean interprets the world was brilliant as he recounted his adventure of being the first registered blind person to paddle the Caledonian Canal over its entire length on a Stand-up Paddle board.
A truly engaging speaker who’s energy and optimism on life’s adventure is infectious.
Paul Kelly and Tina Davenport
Fort William Mountain Festival
‘At Design in Action we are always looking for great speakers to deliver inspiring and insightful talks to our audiences. Dean Dunbar was a great asset to our outdoor sport themed event, where he spoke to a large audience made up of businesses, academics and designers. Through his talk, he was able to inspire every single person in the room by telling his story of bravery, excitement and his passion for extreme sport. Dean Dunbar is one of the best public speakers I have ever come across and am privileged to have met.’
Design in Action
University of Dundee
As Head of Enterprise for The Scotsman Publications, we organised a major event called Outdoor Pursuits, in both 2012 and 2013. This event was targeted at anyone interested in the outdoors, and our objective was to put on a show that would attract visitors from the Central Belt of Scotland.
One of the most important elements of the show was the interactive sessions and presentations which we felt added great value in addition to the various exhibitors that attended the show.
In 2012, we invited Dean Dunbar to be one of our key speakers. We felt that his background and great enthusiasm for doing "All things Extreme" would be a perfect fit for our visitors, and would certainly provide an insight into a different element of "Outdoor Pursuits"
Dean proved to be a fantastic success with our visitors, His was one of the most attended presentations throughout the weekend. He delivered his presentation with enthusiasm, passion and professionalism, and was certainly an inspiration to all who listened.
We were so impressed with Dean at our first show, that we invited him to attend our second show in 2013.
Dean once more proved to be a great success, again attracting high numbers to his presentations.
He is a professional, inspiring speaker that has the ability to inject enthusiasm into his presentations.
I would have no hesitation in recommending Dean as a key speaker in similar events.
Head of Enterprise for The Scotsman Publications